The Training

History of Training

In the early 1980’s, a group of Irish spiritual companions/friends were trained and commissioned over two years by the ‘Jesuit Renewal Center’, Cincinnati, Ohio, to provide training for lay people in the art of companioning others on their spiritual journey and helping them to unfold their relationship with God.

As the trainings evolved over the intervening years, some graduates of the trainings formed into a movement called ‘Anamcharadas’ to challenge and support themselves in this ministry (see Vision Statement of Anamcharadas). The training itself is currently called ‘Anamcharadas Training’.

The ‘training’ imparts its wisdom and instills competence and confidence in its trainees by making use of…
Sharing one’s spiritual journey, reflection on personal readings, journaling, developmental psychology, book reviews, presentations, role plays, triads, art, film, guided meditation, Ignatian contemplation, lectio divina, dream work, one-to-one and group supervision, the Enneagram, ritual and creative liturgies.

The learning environment is experiential and developmental, individual and group focused. The model of the spiritual journey is mainly that of Ignatius of Loyola; it also encompasses the wisdom of other spiritually gifted people.

Outline of Anamcharadas Spiritual Direction Training Programme


1 Retreat Opening Weekend
Sharing Life Journeys

2 Listening Skills
Assumptions and Presuppositions Underpinning the Spiritual Journey. Practice of Spiritual Companioning in Triads commences and then continues throughout the programme.

3 Models of Spiritual Development
Use of Art, Film, Journaling and other creative modalities in Prayer and Companioning

4 Role of Desire in the Spiritual Journey and Description of the early stages of the Journey (Person of Whim and Person of Law)
Introduction to Supervision, to assist the work of processing what’s happening in the triads.

5 Touchstone and Grounding Experience of the Spiritual Journey
(Principle and Foundation Experience in the Ignatian Journey)
Introduction to Transference and Counter-Transference.

6 *Learning how to value and discern the language of Dreams in Spiritual Companioning

7 Transition into Darkness
Opening up to Personal and Social Sin. Discerning Depression fron Desolation.

8 Discovering I am a Loved Sinner
Forgiveness and Reconciliation Rite.

Team assessment and communication to each participant of their growth in Spiritual Companioning to date.

Summer Directed Retreat Recommended.



9 Enneagram

10 Hearing the Call to Discipleship

11 Inspiring People who are Living the Call

12 Deepening Relationship with Jesus and his Ministry through Ignatian Contemplation

13 Discernment of Spirits
Movements towards and away from God.

14 * Integrating Sexuality into Intimacy and the Spiritual Journey
More on Transference and Counter-transference. Introduction to Group Supervision.

15 Exploring human and divine suffering through the Passion of Christ
(Stations of the Cross)

16 Exploring and Living the Meaning of the Resurrection

17 Finding God in All Things
(Contemplation for Obtaining Love) Final Retreat.

* The model of the spiritual journey we use in our programme is Ignatian and has certain fixed elements, which need to be taught in order. The way these essential lessons are taught draws on the materials, readings and inputs of previous programmes, on the creativity of the training team, and the experiences of the participants. The programme also contains elements marked * which have been found to be useful additions. It is possible that over time these additions might be replaced by input on other issues which need a particular focus.

Provisional Dates for 2020- 2022 Programme:

Proposed training weekends – year 1

17/18 October
14/15 November
12/13 December

16/17 January
20/21 February
20/21 March
17/18 April
15/16 May

Proposed training weekends – year 2

18/19 September
16/17 October
20/21 November
11/12 December

15/16 January
19/20 February
19/20 March
23/24 April
21/22 May